Charlottetown conference raises issue of inequities in policy affecting Black youth
A workshop at the Atlantic Black Policy Conference in Charlottetown held this weekend focused on how public policies affect Black youth.
Aaron Sardinha, education and policy co-ordinator at the Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island, said it's important to discuss inequities that exist when it comes to addressing policies.
"There's obviously some gaps that are present, especially with our youth, and we need to be having conversations about those and using our collective imagination to create better opportunities for policy and for safer and more equitable spaces for our youth," he said.
Members of Black communities in the Atlantic came together to share ideas. Sardinha questioned whether curricula are doing enough to address anti-racism relating to Black youth.
"Say if somebody says something that harms our communities, is there policy in place that is able to hold somebody accountable and is able to protect them?"
He encouraged the Black community to become more familiar with policies not just within government but within businesses.
"The more we step away from it, the more we fear it and allow only a certain group of people to access and understand policy, the more we're not going to be able to determine whether or not it's doing exactly what we need to do for our communities."
This weekend's gathering was the second Atlantic Black Policy Conference. Organizers said the aim involves building upon existing knowledge and highlighting the advocacy surrounding policy development and implementation.
Raven Khadeja, president of Black Lives Matter Newfoundland and Labrador, said she hoped next year's conference will involve government funding from all levels, and more government officials in attendance.
"It's not just about the importance of showing up, it's showing up and actively engaging, having that desire to learn," she said.
"I want to see stuff like that, engaging, outside of Black History Month."
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